In two days, we will hit 38 weeks pregnant.
Maren was born at 36 weeks, so this is a whole new frontier for us. I'd love to tell you that I am happily ensconced in the pre-baby joys of folding onesies, washing cloth diapers, packing my hospital bag and organizing closets. But, I'm not. I assumed we'd have another early baby and I am a habitual, non-stop (compulsive?) organizer - a combination which means I did all those tasks weeks ago. So, instead of feathering the nest as the big day approaches, I am slowly going insane. None of my clothes fit anymore, my pelvis feels ready to shatter, I am exhausted and I can't sleep more than 2 hours without getting up to pee. Add to that my husband's off-hand comments like, "wow, what if the baby is a girl?", my daughter's dramatics that turn me into a mama straight out of a Bill Cosby skit, the man in the checkout line that whispered to his wife, "I bet it's twins!" and Downton Abbey ratcheting up my already high anxiety about childbirth with its most recent storyline. Not to mention the black eye, stitches, horse riding accident, skinned elbows, deeply embedded splinters in toddler feet and the contractions that I've had every day - sometimes 6 minutes apart for an hour or two - since Christmas.
But, really, it isn't all bad. In fact, it's mostly good. And, almost like a reward for enduing all the crazy, some days seem dipped in pure sunshine.
The truth is, we are eager to end the aches, pains and the general madness associated with late pregnancy...but, not quite ready to rush into being parents to two. We are relishing these last weeks (days?) of having one glorious, stubborn, lovely and wild child...knowing that having her all to ourselves could end at literally any moment. We are soaking up the last bits of her only childhood - reading book after book uninterrupted, painting her toenails, cuddling on the couch watching a movie, answering her endless questions in bed at the end of the day. All the things that may very soon be met with a "later" or "not right now honey". Now, don't misunderstand. We are excited about the little guy on his way - and, really, no one is more ready to meet him than Maren - but there are pieces of this transition that are bittersweet. Very soon, life as we know it will be turned upside down. Our love and attention will be split. And, our baby will no longer be the baby.
But, despite the uncertainty of what is to come, we are ready.
Holding hands. Holding each other up.
Looking bravely forward, to our next adventure.
As we always have.
As we always will.